Contrary to what we may think, this mellow hymn was not written at a time of sorrow. The writer was in an hour of peace and serenity when this hymn was birthed.
Our Lady Annie Hawks
A Brooklyn native, this 19th-century woman drew inspiration from her daily experiences of the Lord’s presence. She once wrote:
“One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words, “I Need Thee Every Hour,” were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me.”
Hence, in April 1872, she wrote the words to this hymn. She then turned it over to her pastor, Robert Lowry, who helped her with the tune. Six months later, the hymn was published in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Annie could not comprehend how her simple hymn could touch so many people. After all, she lives in an era when women have little or no voice in the public sector. It is only when her husband died that she finally understood the purpose of it. The Lord gave her those words with his anointing. That anointing had a comforting power to touch the heart of humanity.
Moving fast forward to our time, we see the contrast of influence between the hifalutin works of men and simplistic outputs of women. Many of the men’s sermons and speeches were long forgotten while the majority of the women’s songs and poems are still remembered.
Today, this hymn is sung as either a meditational or devotional song for the Lord.
“I Need Thee Every Hour” by Randy Owens and The Isaacs
Trivia: There are twenty “I need thee” phrases on all five stanzas.
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